Is a small stick vacuum that only runs for 20 minutes worth a few hundred dollars?
It depends…on you. If you’re not immediately discouraged by the price tag, then consider the following:
- Are you looking for a vacuum that can handle tough messes, ready when you are, light, maneuverable, and easy to clean?
- Capable of vacuuming from floor to ceiling?
- Designed so that you don’t have to untangle cord and switch outlets, then wrap up the cord and then store it back in the closet. All of that only for a few spots of vacuuming?
- Looking for a 2-in-1 that can handle carpet better than most other 2-in-1’s?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re on the right track. The suction strength of the Dyson V6 is the best you’ll find in a 2-in-1 stick vacuum. If you primarily will be vacuuming carpet, the Dyson V6 Cord Free is ideal as far as 2-in-1’s go.
- Low-pile Carpet and Rugs
- Bare Floors
- RVs, Vehicles, Upholstery, Above-floor Cleaning (vents, ceiling fans, etc.)
- Capable of covering around 1000 square feet
It has all the features you would want in a 2-in-1, except for a mini motorized brush tool for the handheld. If that’s important to you, consider the Dyson V6 Motorhead, Animal, and V8 Absolute. A mini motorized brush is useful for cleaning couches, furniture, other upholstery, and stairs. This Dyson V6 model handles stairs fine as it’s light enough just to pick up and move along the stairs.
A stand-out feature of the Dyson V6 and V8 2-in-1 series is the trigger control. Unlike most vacuums you press a button, and the vacuum stays on until you press it again. Instead, Dyson made a trigger that you pull and hold as long as you want the vacuum to run. Some consider this a hassle, but the idea is to squeeze as much cleaning time out of the battery as possible. You will only be powering the vacuum exactly when you want it to be cleaning.
When you only have 20 minutes of power, the time spent transitioning from one area to another eats up valuable battery life. The trigger feature aligns with the intended use of a 2-in-1 vacuum, which is for brief spot or small area cleaning.
Three main pieces make up the vacuum: the handheld, pipe, and motorized cleaner head. You can easily detach the handheld for spot cleaning and add attachments for crevices or dusting. If you need to do above floor cleaning, just remove the motorized head with the press of a button. It’s seamless to go from vacuuming carpet to sucking the dust off a ceiling fan since you don’t need to grab an attachment, just simply detach the cleaning head. This added simplicity is unique to the Dyson form factor.
Reasons not to buy this vacuum?
- If it’s the only vacuum you will own.
- You plan on cleaning over 1500 square feet with a 2-in-1 stick vacuum.
- You have thick carpet.
- Suction is best-in-class for a 2-in-1
- Docking Station for accessible storage
- 3.5 Hour Charge Time
- Motorized brushroll
- Can reach from floor to ceiling
- Brush roll is easily removed and cleaned
- 2 year Warranty
- Only 20 minutes of runtime
- No motorized brush attachment for Handheld
- Battery is not user replaceable
- No height adjustment for brush roll; not friendly for thick carpet or rugs
- Holding the trigger can be difficult if you have arthritis
Cheerios, dog food, pet hair…this vacuum can handle it, in moderation. You might say it sucks too well. The dustbin fills up quickly, so by the end of your 20 minutes vacuuming it will be ready to empty.
If you’ve used a cordless stick vacuum before then, you’ve experienced having to vacuum over the same spot again, and again, to get anything done. With this vacuum, don’t expect a deep clean, but you won’t have trouble getting even major pet hair or dirt up. You always have the max power setting as a backup.
The Dyson V6 works great in bursts of cleaning and isn’t meant to be the only vacuum you use unless you’re cleaning a small area.
The motorized brush roll works great on low-pile carpet. If you have thick carpet or rugs, you will likely just clog the motor, since there is no way to adjust the height of the brush roll. This vacuum is truly meant for low-pile carpet and bare floors.
This demo video shows an extreme case of pet hair and dust on low-pile carpet being cleaned up by the Dyson V6.
Bare Floor Performance
Even though the motorized brush roll can’t be turned off, this vacuum performs exceptionally well on bare floors. Debris does not get kicked around by the brush and gets pulled right up.
The bristles are soft nylon and do not scratch or damage hardwood floors.
This video shows the Dyson V6 being used to pick up a combination of large and dust size debris on bare floors. If you doubted the motorized brush, this should reassure you this vacuum can handle bare floors.
Spending a day at the beach always ends with sand somewhere in the car. Ceiling fans and vents collect dust, and unless you have an extended reach tool, you’ll need a ladder or stool to clean them.
This is where the 2-in-1 feature comes into play, for getting to those places above the floor. Your corded vacuum may be able to get there, but it’s such a hassle.
The Dyson V6 is effectively a handheld with two attachments that turn it into a stick vacuum: the vacuum tube and motorized cleaner head.
It does not come with a mini motorized tool for the handheld, but wait! All you have to do is remove the vacuum tube and simply attach the motorized cleaner head directly to the handheld. The motorized cleaner head may be larger than what you might want, but it’s great for stairs, couches, and car seats.
Aside from that, you get a combination tool for crevices and surfaces.
If you’re looking for some more options, you can buy a tool kit separately, which will fit any Dyson V6 or V8.
These are in the Dyson Handheld Tool Kit:
- Flexible Extension Hose
- Wide Nozzle Tool
- Stubborn Dirt Brush
- Soft Dusting Brush
There are a handful of 2-in-1’s that do stairs well, and the Dyson V6 is one of them, probably the best.
It comes down to the motorized brush, especially if you have carpeted stairs. The width of the motorized cleaner head is so close to the typical width of stairs; it’s so easy to buzz right over the staircase. You may prefer the larger motorized cleaner head to the mini one only available with the other Dyson V6 models.
Check out this video of the handheld with the motorized brush attachment being used on carpeted stairs.
Battery & Runtime
- 20 minutes
- Lithium Ion Battery
- 3.5 Hour charge time
- Battery is user replaceable (but under warranty?)
If there is a sore spot with this vacuum, then the runtime is it. Even so, it’s about average for a 2-in-1, but also equally as important is the recharge time.
Three and a half hours is slightly better than average. It would be nice to get 30 to 40 minutes, but back to the purpose of this vacuum: spot cleaning.
A lot of 2-in-1’s have 5 to 9 hour charge times, which when you only get 15-20 minutes of use, is horrendous. Dyson hits a sweet spot of compromise with the V6 series.
If you’re willing to splurge, however, you can get 40 minutes of runtime with the Dyson V8 Absolute.
Battery Replacement: The battery is built into the unit, but it is possible to take the unit apart and remove it. This is best done by a certified technician to preserve your warranty, but if it’s over 2 years old, then there’s no harm in doing it yourself if you have the tools and know-how.
Dyson even has a video demonstrating how to remove the battery. This video is of the Dyson V6 Cord-free, and the process in similar for all of the Dyson 2-in-1’s.
The Dyson V6 series has a cylindrical filter that pops right out of the top of the handheld. This vacuum possibly has the most accessible filter, since it doesn’t require you to remove the dustbin and go digging for it.
Allergy & Asthma Friendly Alternatives
Of the Dyson 2-in-1 vacuums, the V8 Absolute and the V6 Absolute are the only ones with HEPA filtration. The V8 Absolute is about twice the price of the V6 Cord-free, whereas the V6 Absolute is about $100 more. As a bonus, however, the V8 Absolute has twice the runtime(40 minutes).
These are some suggested vacuums that provide better filtration.
|Dyson V8 Absolute||Dyson V6 Absolute|
|Filter||HEPA, Washable||HEPA, Washable|
|Check Current Price||Check Current Price|
As you can see from the video above, pet hair gets taken care of very well on carpet and bare floors. Due to the size of the dustbin, you will want to keep an eye on the max fill line.
Again, the problem isn’t picking it up it’s where to put it. These 2-in-1 cordless vacuums are just not meant for heavy duty cleaning. If you deal with lots of pet hair, then you’re going to be disappointed.
If you want to use a vacuum like this, but also have lots of pet hair to deal with, then just vacuum more often. That’s what’s great about cordless vacuums: there is much less work to do to get started. So you will likely find yourself cleaning more often and dealing with much less pet hair at once.
Regular Maintenance & Clog Removal
Cleaning bagless vacuums is usually just messy, because despite what the manufacturers claim, you will have to pull out hair and other debris by hand. Emptying the dustbin more frequently helps mitigate this since hair and dust can’t build up in one spot.
The area around the center cylinder in the dustbin (red arrows) is where clogs will build up. That’s when you have to use your hands or a tool to pull out hair and debris.
The V8 Absolute empties much cleaner than the V6, so just know that they look similar, but there are subtle differences in the design. The top of the V8 handheld slides up which releases debris that gets wedged between the dustbin wall and the motor cylinder. The V8 is likely not to need any extra attention when emptying the dustbin.
After each use, make sure any strings or hair wrapped around the brush roll are removed. Clean the filter cup and shake out the filter.
If you noticed reduced suction, check for clogs around the entrance to the pipe at the vacuum head and the dustbin. Remove clogs as early as possible to prevent damage to the motor.
- Wipe dustbin with damp cloth. Do not submerge in water.
- Once a month, wash the filter and let dry for 24 hours.
- Only use cold water, and do not use detergent to clean the filter.
One user with four animals, reports that his daily cleaning of high traffic areas like doorways, kitchen, and utility room, is done completely with the Dyson V6 Cord Free. The suction is great, much better than the Bissell 2-in-1. The Dyson V6 matches the Hoover Linx regarding suction with the “Max” setting turned on. The docking station makes charging simple while making it convenient to pick up when you need it. The motorized brush is a necessity for stairs and sofas. The main thing is to remember this is meant for quick spot cleaning and not vacuuming an entire home.
This vacuum sucks up cat litter no problem and doesn’t throw it around the floor. This user has a lot of bare floors (vinyl tile, tile, wood) and found the V6 to be all he needed since the other Dyson cordless models are upgraded to improve carpet cleaning.
A user living in a 600 square feet apartment primarily uses the Dyson V6 for getting up dust and vacuuming rugs, hardwood, and carpet. It can clean the entire apartment on a single charge. They do, however, need to empty the dustbin twice while cleaning.
Some users complain about emptying the dustbin being a mess. This is incredibly common for bagless vacuums. The best way to avoid debris getting stuck in the dustbin is just to empty it more often. The higher up the debris builds up, the more gets wedged between the dustbin wall and the filter intake.
Warranty & Customer Service
Some users report their battery failing after the 30 day return period, but still within the 2-year warranty. We asked Dyson the following,
“… I would like to know if Dyson replaces the battery if it doesn’t hold a charge within the 2-year warranty period.”
and their response,
“…The cordless vacuum and all of its parts are engineered to last at least 10 years. The 2 year manufacturer warranty covers parts and labor for manufacturer defect from the date of purchase, when used for private household purposes in accordance with the Operating Manual.”
So they expect the unit to last at least 10 years, but as everyone knows some defects occur in manufacturing. Dyson responds very well to these issues and offers to fix the problem. Dyson has great support and responsiveness to customer inquiries. You shouldn’t have any issues getting Dyson to honor their warranty if an issue occurs with your unit.
|Form Factor||2-in-1 Stick|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Multiple Suction Modes||Max power mode provides 6 minutes of higher suction|
|Carpet Friendly||Yes, Low-pile|
|Filter||Washable lifetime filter|
|Charge Time||3.5 Hours|
|Model||V6 Cord Free|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||9.8 x 47.5 x 8.2 inches|